Monday, June 29, 2009

Knokke Heist 2009 and a nice cartoon weekend

This weekend was really fun. Friday there was the opening of 3 new exhibitons in the ECC and Saturday, I attended the press conference and opening of the Knokke Heist Cartoon Festival. I had the opportunity to meet with and talk to some of the best artists in the world of cartooning... Kevin Kallaugher (US), Karl Meersman (B), Allessandro Gatto (I), Michel Bridenne (FR), Ludo Goderis (B), Riber Hansson(S)... For the weeks to come, I have stuff enough for our blog. Let's start with the Knokke Heist International Cartoon Festival 2009. First of all: congratulations to the organisers of this festival and exhibition for the high quality standard of the work and artists.

press kit

During the summer months, Knokke-Heist will be hosting the 48th cartoon festival, welcoming humoristic drawings, parodies of current situations or simply portrayals of something comic. It will come as no surprise that the political situation in Belgium in the last year provided plenty of fodder for the razor-sharp pens of cartoonists.

International guest cartoonists: Kevin Kallaugher (US) & Joep Bertrams (NE)

Kevin Kallaugher (KAL) is the editorial cartoonist for The Economist magazine of London. After graduating from Harvard College with honors in 1977, Kevin embarked on a bicycle tour of the British Isles, where he joined the Brighton Basketball Club as a player and coach. After the club hit financial difficulties, Kevin drew caricatures of tourists in Trafalgar Square and on Brighton Pier. In March 1978, The Economist recruited him to become their first resident cartoonist in their 145 year history.

with Kevin Kallaugher

Kevin Kallaugher
I a later article, I'll present some books of KAL.
Meanwhile, take a look at:

Dutch guest cartoonist, Joep Bertrams (Roermond, 1946) originally worked as a political cartoonist with a series of animated cartoons for current affairs programme, NOVA, in the Netherlands. The International Cartoon Festival will be showing a selection of this cartoonist’s brilliant animations.

visitors enjoying the animated cartoons of Joep.

Karl Meersman

Karl Meersman (Temse, 1961) is a graphic artist who is strongly attracted by satiric drawings. Hereby the artist is influenced by the tradition of Felicien Rops, Honoré Daumier and Toulouse Lautrec. As a political drawer he was noticed first by Trends Magazine. From 2002 on het started to work for Focus Knack. The work of the artist is a comment on the socio-economic reality and the world of the showbiz.

The International Cartoonfestival of Knokke-Heist shows the short film Imagine. In the film the artist takes us for a walk through nature and cities and shows us how reality serves as inspiration for his drawings.

In the rock world, you have Sting, Bono, Mark Knopfler... in the cartoon world you have Karl Meersman, ... so you can think I was very happy to meet Karl personally for the first time in Knokke.

Michel Bridenne (left person) was very impressed
by the art of Karl. "So young and such level... he can
publish all over the world... every publisher will
love his work"

The 2009 international competition: the winners

winner Musa Gümüs on the cover of the catalogue 2009

the organisation committee and the winners

As was the case in previous years, the International Competition was a huge success. More than 372 participants from 72 countries submitted 2,595 cartoons. After lengthy consultation, the jury decided to award first prize, the Gouden Hoed, to Turkish cartoonist Musa Gümüs; Belgian cartoonist Ludo Goderis and the Italian Alessandro Gatto received the Zilveren Hoed and Bronzen Hoed respectively. The 2008 Public’s Prize went to the Belgian cartoonist, Rob Verdonck. Since 2004, the Davidsfonds also presents a prize to talented cartoonists. In 2009, the award went to Luc Vermeersch, who hails from Ypres.

Ludo Goderis (Belgium) - Silver Hat

Allessandro Gatto (Italy)
Luc Vermeersch (Belgium) - Davidsfonds Prize
Rob Verdonck (Belgium) - Public Prize

Press Cartoon Belgium (PCB) is this year celebrating its 10th anniversary.

PCB Winner Kroll

Press Cartoon Europe

The PCE (Press Cartoon Europe) is an initiative of PCB (Press Cartoon Belgium) in association with the International Cartoon Festival of Knokke-Heist (Belgium). This new award is to be presented annually for the best cartoons published in any European Union member state.
It was awarded to Hansson Riber (Sweden)

The competition is open to all press cartoonists who publish in any newspaper or magazine available to the general public in any EU member state. Participation is free of charge.

The PCE award is judged by a panel of journalists accredited to the European Parliament in Brussels, who will convene on Wednesday 18 February 2009 at the Brussels’ Royal Flemish Theatre to select one grand prize winner to be announced the same day.

mr Riber and I : I hope to present some work of this great Swedish
cartoonist in later articles

The PCE grand prize carries a cash prize of 10,000 euro and a bronze statue designed by the Belgian illustrator Ever Meulen.

Festival info:

Entrance tickets:
Adults €5
55+, students, Teacher’s card 4€
6 – 12 years, Uitpas, CJP, Knackclub, Davidsfonds, Groups (min. 10) € 2.5
Children (0-6): free
Information: Scharpoord Cultural Centre, Meerlaan 32, 8300 Knokke-Heist
+32 (0) 50 630 430,,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Humorous Victorian Spot Illustrations

A nice book I found earlier this year on the "Boekenfestijn" in Kortrijk is this "Victorian" cartoon book:

The celebrated British humor magazine Punch; or the London Charivari enjoyed immense favor in the 19th century for the high level of its artwork. Its satirical cartoons were rambunctious and perceptive, reflecting the diverse tastes and interests of the British middle class.

For this new, appealing collection of humorous Victorian illustrations, noted artist Carol Belanger Grafton has sifted through thousands of superb illustrations that graced the pages of Punch from 1841-1914. She has specially selected over 1000 drawings for their humor, quality, and adaptability to modern graphic usage. Versatile and amusing images by such masters as George du Maurier, Linley Sambourne and Randolph Caldecott address a wide range of topics and are organized by theme. Find delightful and different portrayals of dancing policemen, outlandish insect-inspired coiffures, inebriated musicians, and much more, in categories including:

Men, Grooming, Hats, Women, Sports and Pastimes, Food and Drink, Children,Art, Books, Reading, Writing ,Weapons and Fighting, Music, Transportation, Telephones, The Zodiac, Umbrellas ...and more

Every illustration in this book is copyright-free and immediately usable for a variety of applications. Artists, illustrators, designers, and craftspeople will find these witty illustrations ideal for advertising, flyers, posters, decoupage, greeting cards—any project requiring a touch of whimsy.

Original Dover (1985) publication. 1049 black-and-white illustrations selected from Punch, 1841-1914. iv + 123pp. Preface. Table of Contents. Paperbound.

Learn more:

Punch magazine on Wikipedia

Learn more about the Victorian Era

Cartoonbook file:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

On the edge... an exam cartoon book

It's the time of year: students are preparing for their 'examinations'. In 1983, the examinations group of the Belgian university of Leuven organised a cartoon contest for its students, staff members and academics. The purpose of the contest was to create a way to combat stress and frustrations due to examinations, by creativity and humor. Two factors which tend not to be present during exams.

On the edge... exam cartoon book (1985)
cover by GAL, famous Belgian cartoonist

I got this book a few years ago from a friend a mine who studied in Leuven at that time... and now I present this rare specimen to you. The book was published in 1985 and it contains some good cartoons if you ask me.
Googling the names of the former students-amateur cartoonists, I found out that some of them have a successful career now. Maybe some still draw cartoons nowadays, who knows.

'Philosophy exam'
Van Heucke Ludwig (now a clergyman?)

Haspenslagh Marc (now a Docter?)

Hennebert Mechtilde (now a ?... artist...)

Van Heucke Ludwig (clergyman?)

Michielsen Dominique (now an academic?)

Quaghebeur Mark (now a lawyer?)

Lepoutre Bernard (now an archtitect?)

Theys Erik (now a Docter?)

'Applied Science exam '
by Van Heucke Ludwig

Van Heucke Ludwig

Learn more:
cartoonbook file :

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mana Neyestani (Iran), Belgian regional and European elections... and a cartoon book

Yesterday we had in Belgium a European and local elections day. Time to look for a cartoonist who made some nice cartoons about elections. I want to present a book of Mana Neyestani (*)
who is an Iranian cartoonist of Azeri origin. He is the brother of Touka Neyestani, who is also a cartoonist. Neyestani was born in 1973 in Tehran. He is a graduate of University of Tehran with a M.A. in Architecture and a high profile and successful cartoonist since his first drawings for Zan newspaper in 1998.

I don't understand Persian, but the cartoons in the book speak for themselves. This is the work of an extraordinary artist...

Read more:

(*)Riots erupted by ethnic Azeris in Iran when they took offense in Mana Neyestani's cartoon, published in the children's section of the 12 May 2006 supplement of Iran, a government run newspaper. The cartoon depicted a coackroach responding in Azeri or Persian. He along with Mehrdad Ghasemfar, the editor-in-chief of Iran, were arrested by government officials and the newspaper was closed down following the riots.